Those of you who have dipped into this blog will know that last year I started writing posts about a model I have created, the EPIC model for research engagement. It felt like it was becoming a bit disconnected with occasional posts and so to bring it all together, over the last few weeks, I have been working with a great graphic artist to create an EPIC animation and today it is complete, (roll of drums, flashing lights and a general jumping around ta-dah moment).

As health professionals many of us have a bit of a tricky relationship with research. We know that it is important, we understand the contribution it makes to people’s health and wellbeing and to moving our clinical practice forward and yet many of us feel alienated by it and we duck and dive around it.

My motivation for developing the EPIC model and the animation is to try to create a more inclusive narrative about the role of research in our practice. Currently the storyline has a tendency to be dominated by a focus on ‘doing research’ and developing clinical academics. Please don’t get me wrong these are absolutely essential components of a culture of research and things I have dedicated a significant proportion of my life to but they are not the whole story. Focusing solely on those ‘doing’ research leaves everyone  else wondering, “Where do I fit in if this isn’t what I want to do?”.

Over a million people are employed in the NHS and we need to acknowledge that, within this massive community, people will have very differing relationships with research. We need to amplify the message that if you inform people about the opportunity to take part in research fabulous – you are research engaged, if you use research to inform your practice marvellous – you are research engaged, and if you want to get involved in doing research brilliant – you are research engaged. So maybe it’s time for us all to stop ducking and diving around research, find the place that feels right for us and stand proudly in the contribution we are making to a culture of research.

So lets start a more inclusive EPIC conversation which values those who promote and use research as much as those who do it.  More resources and downloads will be appearing over the coming weeks but for now – why not become an EPIC Researcher………….